Speaking at a general session of Shareholders Service Group’s first annual conference in San Diego, Charles Goldman shared his view of the advisor universe on Thursday afternoon, and urged every advisor to “be paranoid about your business,” and to not fall prey to its opposite, “arrogance”.
He also said he had come to appreciate the importance of each advisory firm to have a “UVP”—unique value proposition—but urged advisors to focus on the “value proposition” part of their mission.
The former Schwab Institutional COO and Fidelity Investments custodial and clearing president, now a consultant and board member of several charities in the Bay Area, said he had learned about the value of being ‘paranoid’ from his former Schwab colleague Debby McWhinney. And while he had long pooh-poohed the management mantra that every successful firm must have a vision or mission statement as part of its UVP, he had come to appreciate its importance in business.
He warned, though, that just having such a vision isn’t sufficient: advisors and most important “their staff need to be able to articulate” that vision to others, particularly clients and prospective clients. He made the comments in response to questions from SSG’s executive VP Dan Skiles (left), another former Schwab colleague (and Investment Advisor’s Technology Coach columnist; see Dan’s latest column for IA at AdvisorOne).
Goldman, who joked that since he left the rarefied air of corporate America, he had to learn how to do his own PowerPoint slideshows, began his presentation by looking at “what’s really happening in the wealth management marketplace.” He proclaimed that for the estimated 16,000 RIA firms, “assets under management are back” to where they were before the 2008-2009 markets and economic crisis, and that RIAs account for about $2 trillion in AUM (citing Cerulli data) with those assets growing at a CAGR of 10%.
He noted that assets are concentrated, however, at the largest RIAs. He also sought to dispel two myths: that every advisor should focus on the high-net-worth and that the wirehouses were on their deathbeds.